Abby Powell
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Abby Powell

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About Abby Powell

Abby Powell is a native of Northeastern Massachusetts who splits her time between commuting into Boston for work and caring for and riding her rescue Mustang x Arab mare, Maggie.

Latest Articles Written

Weekly OTTB Wishlist from Cosequin: Introducing the RRP Bloodline Brag

Photo via Retired Racehorse Project.

The Retried Racehorse Project (RRP) is at it again with another innovative way to bring OTTB owners together to show off what their incredible horses can do, this time in the form of the only user-driven database to track the characteristics and accomplishments of registered thoroughbreds in their second careers.

The RRP Bloodline Brag currently contains information on nearly 2,000 thoroughbreds and their pedigrees, soundness, disposition, and post-track accomplishments. By adding your thoroughbred to database, you’re contributing to growing the information available on the suitability of OTTBs to second careers plus you’ll be entered for a chance to win $50 in RRP store credit!

To make it even more exciting, on March 1st RRP will take the top sixteen sport horse sires in the database and pit them against each other in a bracket-style showdown to determine the winner of Sire Madness!

Looking for a brag-worthy new OTTB of your own? We got you covered:

Photo via Finger Lakes Finest Thoroughbreds.

Lazyhazydazosummer (Comeonmom – Pilfer Proof, by Gate Dancer): 2010 17.0-hand New York bred gelding

This big guy is such a sweetie and barn-favorite that his owner/breeder has been tempted to keep him for herself as a riding horse, but decided he has too much potential and doesn’t want to hold him back. “Lazy” last raced in 2014 and had three years of let down in a pasture before heading to dressage bootcamp this winter, so he is not RRP 2018 eligible. He is, however, sound and a lovely mover under saddle with big floaty gaits and nice-looking scope over fences.

View Lazyhazydazosummer on Finger Lakes Finest Thoroughbreds.

Photo via Makers Mark Secretariat Center.

Fivekindsofcrazy (Lemon Drop Kid – Cukee, by Langfuhr): 2013 16.0-hand Kentucky bred gelding

“King” had high expectations on the track, selling for $250,000 as a yearling but he didn’t quite live up to them in his 22 starts. Now he finds himself enjoying some downtime in Kentucky, relaxing and loosening his muscles before gearing up for a second career. This stately gelding is sound and is a clean slate to go in any direction once he’s fully let down. Having last raced in July 2017, he’s still RRP 2018 eligible.

View Fivekindsofcrazy on Makers Mark Secretariat Center. 

Photo via New Vocations Racehorse Adoption.

Bigwavedave (Fastnet Rock (AUS) – Cash Run, by Seeking the Gold): 2012 16.2-hand Irish bred mare

Poor Dave, she’s got a bit of a misleading name given that she’s actually a lady! Dave is an Irish-born lass who was imported to the U.S. before making any starts. She never showed the gumption to be a racehorse in her short career, but during training her exercise riders report that she was a forward-thinking, hard-worker. She has the makings of a brave and athletic mare who could really excel in a new career!

View Bigwavedave on New Vocations Racehorse Adoption. 

Monday Video from Tredstep Ireland: Arthur Dances Again

Allison Springer’s beloved mount Arthur has put on his dancing shoes once again, making his FEI Prix St Georges debut over the weekend at Bruce’s Field in Aiken. The lovable liver chestnut was diagnosed with an aortic regurgitation just prior to the Kentucky Three-Day Event last year. With running cross country being too risky given the diagnosis, Allison opted to retire Arthur from eventing.

Arthur has since been enjoying a life of luxury with Allison teaching lessons and strutting his stuff during eventing dressage test rides. Now he’s hitting the sandbox at dressage shows and it’s wonderful to see this long-time team competing again. Take a look at their lovely test!

Saturday Links from Tipperary

Northeastern eventers have been blessed this week with some warmer weather which brings respite from a bitterly cold early winter. It’s great to see ‘grams popping up of folks spending time with their horses without having to bundle up so much that they look like the Michelin Man. Just four more weeks until spring – we can do it!

National Holiday: National Random Acts of Kindness Day

U.S. Weekend Action:

Rocking Horse Winter II H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

Paradise Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Results]

Fresno County Horse Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Results]

Saturday Links:

Former riders in the running for medals at Winter Olympics

Dressage for a Jumper? The Secret Weapon Behind Royce’s Success with Margie Engle

Breast-related barriers to horse riding widely reported among women in study

Incorporating Equine Learning Principles Into Veterinary Practice

Hot on Horse Nation: When to Speak Up: Red Flags & Warning Signs for Reporting Abuse

Saturday Video: It me.

Ruffles Sleeping

There are few things I find as soothing and relaxing as a horse sleeping. ❤💖Sales horse Ruffles is enjoying a quiet afternoon here in Florida! 🦄

Posted by Eiren Crawford – All Points Dressage on Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Weekly OTTB Wishlist from Cosequin: Gambling Greys

Greys are a bit of gamble, especially young ones; you just never know exactly what they’re going to end up looking like! Might they stay a bit dark? Will they end up with a coat as white as a blanket of snow? Most importantly, will there be dapples? One thing is for certain: now matter how they turn out you’re going to need boatloads of purple shampoo and green-spot remover.

If you feel like taking a chance on a grey today, we picked out three lovely ones available on CANTER to feature in this week’s OTTB Wishlist:

Photo via CANTER Maryland.

Trade the Pick (Exchange Rate – Julie Truly, by Miner’s Mark): 2015 16.2-hand Kentucky bred gelding

This young guy has a long future ahead of him — but not as a racehorse! Trade the Pick has not at all been impressive at the track, running in the rear of the pack of his only two races. He is sound and still in training, but his owners are betting that he’ll click with another sport better than racing and would like to see him move on.

View Trade the Pick on CANTER Maryland.

Photo via CANTER California.

The Grey Mousse (The Pamplemousse – Flag the Mint Down, by Flag Down): 2012 17.0-hand California bred mare

This big eye-catching mare is ready to be your next project! She is sound and athletic, but just isn’t competitive in the races. However, her pedigree hints that she might be a very competitive eventer. Her sire, The Pamplemousee, has already produced some horses who are eventing off the track and he is now being trained for a second career in eventing himself. Will this big lady follow in his footsteps?

View The Grey Mousse on CANTER California.

Photo via CANTER Maryland.

Barcraft (Mizzen Mast – A Party for Two, by Lear Fan): 2014 16.1-hand Kentucky bred gelding

This gelding is another one who is sound and healthy, but has shown in his 13 starts to just not be a competitive race horse. “Crafty” is a sweet horse to be around and his connections say he has an amateur-friendly disposition. He is a light cribber at mealtimes, but it is completely controlled with a collar.

View Barcraft on CANTER Maryland.

Monday Video from Tredstep Ireland: Ride Around the World

I’m probably not the only one with a serious case of cabin fever right now, so thank goodness for Facebook and groups like As Seen Through Horses’ Ears. ASTHE is a public Facebook group where members share horseback photos and video from around the world. The only rules are that the shot has to be between the ears of a ridden or driven horse and you have to mention where in the world you are!

Today we’re bringing you six short clips all posted to the ASTHE group so that you can enjoy the view as well. How neat is it to get to see these different corners of the world? And of course the best view is from between the ears of a trusty steed!

Edderton, Scottish Highlands, UK:

https://www.facebook.com/susan.ross.1232/videos/g.208236055879418/1761904257187030/?type=2&theater&ifg=1

Quindalup, Western Australia:

https://www.facebook.com/belinda.west.399/videos/g.208236055879418/10155281305382548/?type=2&theater&ifg=1

Maura, Norway:

https://www.facebook.com/marith.granhus/videos/g.208236055879418/10156078571089710/?type=2&theater&ifg=1

Arequipa, Perú:

Bella y morita viendo el valle de vítor en Arequipa Perú

Posted by Francesca Cavallero Belon on Friday, January 26, 2018

Viđareiđi, Faroe Islands:

Vøtnini today (The waters) :-) This is a long way up in a valley (inni í Dølum as we call it), didn't get 'the waters' on this clip, but they were frozen, so not so visible today (they're like two very small lakes). Fugloy is very visible from here, too :-) You can even ride higher up on the mountain and get a good view over the neighbouring villages, but due to the snow and it being quite steep, and dark creeping up on us, we decided to head back home :-)Viđareiđi, Faroe Islands

Posted by Hanna Mohr on Saturday, January 20, 2018

Mesoyi, Cyprus:

Exercising the horses after the storm. Ramon calling for his friends. Mesoyi, Cyprus

Posted by Georgia Bruno on Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Saturday Links from Tipperary

Rejoice! The schedule for the 2018 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event is posted! Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

With each turned-page of the calendar during winter I start to look for small signs of spring to keep me grasping on to the hope that warmer, sunnier weather will come sooner rather than later. The first sign of days getting noticeably longer, an uncharacteristic 50-degree day in February, the fact that if I squint it almost looks like the forsythia in my backyard is thinking about blooming (I might be grasping at straws on that last one). One definite sign of spring? The release of the 2018 schedule for the Best Weekend All Year!

National Holiday: National Umbrella Day

U.S. Weekend Action:

Pine Top Intermediate H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

Ocala Winter I H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

Saturday Links:

PODCAST: Introducing ERQI: The EquiRatings Quality Index

New British Eventing rule to eliminate riders after falls

Loss of eventing horse LV Hat Trick at NZ event

New Bolton Center Lifts EHV Quarantine

The Role of Showmanship in Dressage Tests

Hang On to Your Hat: An Insider’s Guide to Eventing in 2018

Saturday Video: Does ponying one horse intimidate you? If so, this will make you really anxious:

Always get to see new things working in Westminster. Some serious horsepower outside the Abbey.

Posted by Paul Scully MP on Monday, February 5, 2018

Weekly OTTB Wishlist from Cosequin: Dirty Thirties Edition

Age is just a number and I supposed career starts are too. While they haven’t quite reached ‘War Horse’ status, the three horses we’re spotlighting today have all surpassed 30 career races and that’s got to count for something right? These horses are just a little more mature than your 10-or-20-something starters and they’re looking for a second career. Could one of them be your next eventing partner?

Photo via CANTER Michigan.

Corinthians Secret (Corinthian – Dream Luck, by Chester House): 2011 16.1-hand Illinois bred gelding

“Ike” is a simply gorgeous gelding who has racked up 37 career starts and over $41,000 in earnings. Ike came off the track after his final race in last May and is doing well in retraining. He’s a quiet, sweet guy with a big stride and has already been started over small fences. He seems to be quite keen for this new job as he pricks his ears and takes his rider to the next jump!

View Corinthians Secret on CANTER Michigan.

Photo va CANTER California.

Tough Ray (Tough Game – Atsashanaray, by Renteria): 2010 16.1-hand California bred gelding

This big shiny chestnut is a barn favorite with his sweet personality. His trainer says he never needs a chain, even when he’s being jogged out. With 34 career starts and over $50,000 in earning he’s done pretty well on the track, but his trainer wants to retire him from racing while he’s sound.

View Tough Ray on CANTER California.

Photo via CANTER California.

John’s Journey (Good Journey – Belle Lu, by Signal Tap): 2011 16.1-hand California bred gelding

Those dapples aren’t the only impressive thing about this horse – he’s also managed to earn over $100,000 on the track with just 33 starts. This stunning seven-year-old is sound with no vices, but he is reported to have a breathing issue though this obviously hasn’t limited his athleticism as a racehorse. Despite his success, his owner, a track veterinarian, is ready for him to move on to a new career.

View John’s Journey on CANTER California.

Monday Video from Tredstep Ireland: Horseback Falls vs. Football Falls

What? OH, you thought I was talking about American football, didn’t you? Like that big game that was on last night? Sorry!

What we call soccer here is a known as football to the rest of the world and, though I generally prefer watching the type of football that is actually played with one’s foot instead of the one that involves smashing people, I must admit it does get a bit too dramatic at times for my taste.

Over the years “flopping” — acting as though you’ve had your leg chopped off or your eye poked out when in fact your opponent has merely breathed on you — which serves to try and get your opponent awarded a yellow or red card (that’s sort of equivalent to a penalty for you heathens) has become a real art form.

Exhibit A:

Give that man an Oscar.

But “getting back on the horse” isn’t an idiom for no reason. Footballers ain’t got nothin’ on equestrians when it comes to falling and here’s the video to prove it:

Saturday Links from Tipperary

Photo via EquiRatings.

I know it’s not Friday anymore, but I still can’t help sharing the above infographic that EquiRatings posted yesterday. Stop and think about that for a second — 1 in 107.5 trillion. That’s pretty nuts. For reference, your odds of winning the Powerball are only 1 in 175 million. Everyone’s calling Tom Brady the GOAT, but I think that title actually belongs to MJ. I’m allowed to say that, because I’m from New England.

National Holiday: National Carrot Cake Day (Favorite holiday of horses everywhere, possibly.)

U.S. Weekend Action:

Three Lakes H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

Sporting Days H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Results]

Galway Downs Winter H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Results]

Saturday Links:

Outcry over rider’s dressage test: US Equestrian responds

Bonnie Kibbie: USEA’s Volunteer of the Month Presented by Athletux

Behind The Photo: Who Needs Wings When You’ve Got Springs For Feet?

British eventer pays tribute to homebred ‘horse of a lifetime’

Behavior Problems in Mares: Ovaries Aren’t Always to Blame

FEI president looks likely to be re-elected, even without a huge Twitter following

Best of Blogs: Laminitis research: Feeding a high starch diet can influence PPID (Equine Cushings Disease) test results

Saturday Video: 

https://www.facebook.com/horsepeoplesMind/videos/1545666435469437/?hc_ref=ARTszCxRz7O-ficY8UzsHLpLDzXERXcvyiKVMlQeb4ifIX2MvH1enNkTGceqTZiPHRw

Weekly OTTB Wishlist from Cosequin: Bays for Days

It’s happened to all of us: you’re at a new barn, happily helping with chores when a more seasoned worker hands you a lead rope and halter and says, “Can you bring in old Duchess? She’s the big bay out in the far field.”

The instructions seem simple enough, but only after you’ve trudged at least a mile uphill in the mud to the far field do you realize that those instructions were perilously nebulous. Of course, old Duchess is not the only bay in the field, oh no. There are at least two other true bays plus a very tall horse who, if you squint, could pass as bay instead of dark sorrel. Not wanting to return pointlessly empty-handed, you throw the halter over the ears of a definitely bay mare who looks to be at least a quarter of a hand taller than her pasture mates and whisper a quick prayer to the deities that be that you’ve nabbed the right one.

The funny thing is, next week you’ll be a pro at identifying all the members of that confusing bay herd. And once you’ve really gotten to know them all, they’ll look so different you’ll wonder how you ever got them confused!

This week we’ve found three bay beauties all looking for their second careers off the track. Even though they share the same coat color, they couldn’t be more different! Will you give them a chance and get to know them?

Photo via New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program.

Verona Blue (Bluegrass Cat – Try N Sue, by Sir Harry Lewis): 2013 16.0-hand New York bred mare

Having just raced last month, Verona Blue is 2018 RRP eligible and has been enjoying a nice let down from the track along with bunch of other adoptable mares at New Vocations. She’s a sweet girl who loves attention and will happily give you cuddles in exchange for a good grooming session! With 15 starts and just 1 podium finish, she wasn’t much of a racehorse but she retired sound and is ready to learn something new!

View Verona Blue on New Vocations Racehorse Adoption.

Photo via CANTER California.

Don’t Keep Time (Don’tsellmeshort – It’s Twilight Time, by Suggest): 2011 16.2-hand California bred gelding

Don’t Keep Time did decently for himself on the track, earning almost $50,000 in 35 starts, but his trainer thinks he’s ready for his next athletic endeavor. CANTER volunteers thought this seven-year-old was cute and sassy, but still quiet and well-behaved. He’s sure to be a real stunner once he’s packed on some more groceries! His last race was November 2017, so he’s still RRP 2018 eligible.

View Don’t Keep Time on CANTER California.

Photo via Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center.

Deputizer (The Deputy (IRE) – For Your Enjoyment, by Quiet Enjoyment): 2014 16.1-hand West Virginia bred gelding

This unraced four-year-old is a total clean slate just waiting for the right person to come along and teach him the ropes. Even though he’s unraced, he does have registered work so he is still 2018 RRP eligible. Deputizer is a big-boned baby who has some growing into himself to do, but still seems well-balanced. With the right person to bring him along, the sky’s the limit for this one!

View Deputizer on Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center. 

Monday Video from Tredstep Ireland: Just a Bunch of Lemmings

We’ve all heard it: if your friends jumped off a cliff, would you do it too? Well, as eventers, as a matter of fact yes, yes we would! Guess we’re all just a bunch of lemmings.

Area I eventer Ann Grenier put together this fun video montage from clips taken while jump-judging the bank complex at Course Brook Farm Horse Trails in Sherborn, MA, last October. It features levels of crazy from Beginner Novice through Preliminary. Can you spot any of your friends?

Saturday Links from Tipperary

Photo by Pam Stone.

While our warm weather compatriots are already enjoying the start of the competition season, we snowbound eventers have to entertain ourselves somehow. Actress, comedian, and equestrian Pam Stone invites fellow cold weather barn-goers to come one and all and enjoy their own competition, such as the event she calls the Manure Luge (see video at the bottom of the post!)

Maybe we can get a whole slew of events together for a sort of Winter Equestrian X Games? We just need some more events…how about the Blanket Bundling Relay? Frozen Water Bucket Weightlifting? Iced Road Apple Curling? What other events can you come up with, EN? Let us know in the comments!

National Holiday: National Seed Swap Day

U.S. Weekend Action:

Rocking Horse Winter I H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

Full Gallop H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Results]

Saturday Links:

Brook Ledge Horse Transportation Announced as Title Sponsor of The Great Meadow International FEI Eventing Nations Cup™

PODCAST: Insights from the Eventing 25 Winter Training Sessions

The Affordable Riding Act

‘I thought ‘this is going to kill me’’ — rider issues warning after being trampled in the back of her horsebox

Here’s Why a Thorough Warm-Up Isn’t Just For Your Horse

Deconstructing the Saddle Pad

Saturday Video: Introducing the 2018 Manure Luge Championship!

Calling all competitors for the 2018 Manure Luge Championship. Show us your run! Funn Farm currently in First Place! Dixie Atkins I may need to commission a trophy!

Posted by Pam Stone on Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Get to Know Tsetserleg: Boyd Martin’s Small But Mighty Mount

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg at Fair Hill International 2017. Photo by Shelby Allen.

It’s fitting to equate one of Boyd Martin’s newer mounts, Tsetserleg, to Clark Kent. Day by day in training he’s good, but unassuming — even mediocre at times. It’s not until he’s at a competition does the 16.1-hand gelding show his true colors and transform into Superman … but only for the right person.

“He can be a mediocre performer at the barn, but he loves his job and turns it on at shows,” says Tsetserleg’s owner, Christine Turner of Indian Creek Farm. “He would do anything for his rider — if he likes them — and he loves Boyd.”

Boyd echoes that Thomas has been a bit of a “sleeper,” only truly showing what he’s capable of in competition: “He doesn’t ‘wow’ you at home, but when he gets to a competition he grows to 17.2-hands and jumps as high as you want to jump and moves like Totilas.”

“He’s a funny little character — he’s got a bit of an awkward jump, but he’s a real trier and a pleasure to have,” says Boyd.

A ‘Dark Horse’ Prospect

Christine first laid eyes on Tsetserleg as a 5-year-old at Tim and Cheryl Holekamp’s New Spring Farm, where he was bred. A mentor to Christine, Dr. Holekamp is a longtime supporter of the USEA’s Instructor Certification Program as well as the American Trakehner Association, and their Missouri farm has been home to a number of clinics and inspections over the years. It was at one such inspection that the young black horse turned Christine’s head — but he wasn’t what they were there to see that day, nor was he even being inspected.

The Turners had originally come to the Holekamps’ farm to look at Tupelo, a 3-year-old Trakehner mare who would end up taking reserve champion at the inspection after the Turners agreed to purchase her. Dr. Holekamp had tried to pique Christine’s interest in another Trakehner gelding at the farm, but Tsetserleg, a half-brother to Tupelo out of the same dam and sired by the famous stallion Windfall, caught her eye instead. When Christine learned that Tsetserleg’s barn name was Thomas, she knew it was meant to be.

“My husband is Thomas E. Turner IV and my daughter is Tommie, so it’s very much a family name,” she explains.

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg at Fair Hill International 2017. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Shooting for the Stars

Thomas was campaigned to the two-star level by Michael Pollard. After the 2015 season, the Turners handed the reins over to Boyd Martin. Boyd got to know the gelding over the 2016 season, competing at the Intermediate/two-star level for the majority of the season before stepping up to Advanced at Stable View in October.

Through ups and downs, 2017 proved to be Thomas’ breakout year. Things started out quite promising with an Intermediate win at Pine Top and then a 4th place finish in Advanced at the same venue a couple of weeks later. The step up to three-star at Red Hills in March didn’t go quite as planned, with Boyd taking a tumble off the gelding at a triple brush near the end of the course.

“He couldn’t make the jump at Red Hills toward the end, but it was good for him to get the experience,” Christine recounts.

But Thomas bounced back with a vengeance and zipped around the Advanced track at The Fork a month later — probably the biggest course he had seen yet, according to Boyd — and claimed 2nd. His second CIC3* attempt came at Jersey Fresh later that spring. He and Boyd added only cross country time, on an exceptionally stormy day, to take 2nd again. The trend of success continued for the rest of the season, with the pair never finishing further down the leaderboard than 7th. They ended the 2017 season with an impressive 3rd in the Fair Hill International CCI3* thus crowning him USEF CCI3* National Reserve Champion, and subsequently Tsetserleg was awarded Performance Gold by the American Trakehner Association.

The Belief Pays Off

Thomas’ current success is made that much sweeter for the Turners as they remember the journey it took to get the slow-blooming gelding to this point. Christine has always believed that Tsetserleg was destined for great things — it just took some time to find his match.

“He has had to put up with a lot of trainers that were inexperienced or never believed in him,” she says. “Here I am going, ‘Look, I know he can do it!’ but who am I to them to tell them this? He came from being something that people never believed in to being a powerhouse with Boyd.”

Though it’s taken time for the gelding to blossom into the fierce competitor and proper upper-level horse that Christine knew he was capable of becoming, the sky’s the limit for the gelding with Boyd now in the saddle.

“I think he’s a proper four-star horse, but the biggest thing is he’s such a gutsy trier. At Fair Hill he impressed me in every single phase,” says Boyd. “Chris kept telling me over the last year that this horse was capable of anything. She was right. We must never underestimate a horse’s desire! It is very hard to measure at first sight.”

Photo by Shannon Brinkman via Der Trakehner.

Looking Ahead 

2018 is already off to a good start as Boyd and Thomas are the cover boys on the January issue of Germany’s Der Trakehner magazine. If all goes well, Thomas may get his four-star shot come April at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event.

“I leave it up to the professionals, Boyd and Erik Duvander, our new High Performance Coach, to decide what is best for Thomas and Boyd. We totally trust our rider and support them with whatever they decide,” Christine says.

“We are never let down when he says that he wants to take it easy, and we get excited when he wants to move up. We are hoping for Kentucky, but we know Boyd has a few others who may take that spot. We are just excited for whatever may happen!”

Weekly OTTB Wishlist from Cosequin: Iron Horse Edition

Attention 2018 Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeover trainers: There’s an exciting new award up for grabs this year! MidAtlantic Horse Rescue is generously sponsoring the $1,000 Iron Horse Award which will be bestowed to the top placing horse foaled in or before 2008.

Though often overlooked due to their age, older racehorses have much to offer in their second careers having already proved their durability. But at last year’s Thoroughbred Makeover, just 22 of the 305 competing horses were at least 10 years old. Can 2018 top that?

If you’re still looking for a horse (trainers have until August 1, 2018 to register their horse), fear not — we’re here to help! Here are three 2018 Thoroughbred Makeover eligible “Iron Horses” ready and waiting to show you what they’re made of.

Photo via Finger Lakes Finest Thoroughbreds, Inc.

New York Tough (Good and Tough – Tulane Girl, by Valid Expectations): 2007 15.3-hand New York bred gelding

At 64 career starts, 21 wins, and almost $200,000 earned, New York Tough lives up to his name. “Toughie” is an easy-going guy as well as a hard-working athlete. Though he popped a splint early last year he has recovered to be totally sound and has been lightly restarted under saddle, but remains 2018 RRP eligible. His rider reports that he’s just an all-around good boy under saddle and isn’t spooky in the slightest. He’d make a great project for an OTTB first-timer!

View New York Tough on Finger Lakes Finest Thoroughbreds, Inc. 

Photo via CANTER Michigan.

Native Britches (Native Factor – Starlet Britches, by Habitonia): 2005 Michigan bred gelding

Native Britches is another been-there-done-that good ‘ol boy who could be a suitable project for a young rider or adult amateur. He’s been so reliable for his trainer that he was used to teach riders to gallop. This lovely bay is a true war horse, proving his reliability and durability with over 100 starts. Now that he’s done with racing, his trainer wants him to find him a wonderful new home and a second career that he can be just as good at.

View Native Britches on CANTER Michigan.

Photo via CANTER Maryland.

Legendary King (Brahms – Dance Skirt, by Caucasus): 2008 15.3-hand Kentucky bred gelding

Just look at that face! Not only is Legendary King cute as a button, he’s also a real solid citizen who’s just enjoyable to be around. “King” is reported to be totally sound, but when he came back into training he just didn’t have the same zest for racing that he had throughout his 64 career starts. His connections decided that after a year of downtime on the farm, it’s time to let him move on to a new home and a new career.

View Legendary Kind on CANTER Maryland.

Monday Video from Tredstep Ireland: One Way or Another … We’re Gonna Get to NAJYRC!

The Event at Rebecca Farm is a bucket-list competition for eventers around the country. Last year, young riders from around the country fundraised their hearts out to make the trip and compete in the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships which were held in conjunction with the event. With the announcement that Rebecca Farm will again host the eventing portion of the NAJYRC for 2018 and 2019, young eventers will have two more chances to go for the gold under the big blue Montana sky — but first, they’ll have to get there!

If you need a little heart-pumping, head-nodding inspiration to get you psyched up for the big event, look no further that this video edit by Rey Jarrell, featuring the 2017 Area I NAJYRC team.

Saturday Links from Tipperary

A kindly Tufts vet student keeps Billy company while he wakes up from surgery. Photo by Abby Powell.

The curse of January strikes again. I’ve now nearly come to expect (though I am doing everything in my power to avoid) a moderately-sized vet bill within the first month of each new year.

I am now on a four year streak: In 2015 my event horse colicked and in 2016 my mini horse colicked (both instances were resolved without surgery and they are fine), in 2017 my mini horse somehow sustained an impressive laceration in an unmentionable area (got stitched up and healed up fine), and now for 2018 my goat, who’s a companion to my horses, got a urinary blockage earlier this week and required surgery.

“Billy Boomer” is just as much a part of my family as the equines, so of course I’m doing everything I can to help him through. Plus, he has a special place in my heart for playing a role in bringing my husband and I together….but that’s a story for another day!

National Holiday: National Cheese Lover’s Day

U.S. Weekend Action:

Grand Oaks H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

Saturday Links:

Albemarle County, Virginia, Horse Tests Positive for EHV-1

Decoding the 2018 Dressage Tests

Grid Pro Quo with Will Faudree

Top Four Things You Need To Know From The USEF Veterinary Committee Meeting

Supporting Limb Laminitis Has Been the Undoing of Many Seriously Injured Horses—But That May Be Changing

‘I always do it before Badminton’: eventer who broke back faces race to be fit

Saturday Video: Ground pole inspiration!

https://www.facebook.com/inspiredressage/videos/1985462558372168/

Weekly OTTB Wishlist from Cosequin: Three ‘Stately’ Thoroughbreds

From the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans, white with foam! There are many things to be inspired by in the good ‘ol US of A so of course the country’s features and regions make their way into the Jockey Club names and characteristics of our American Thoroughbreds.

This week we’re spotlighting three “stately” OTTBs ready to head home with you and start a new career:

Photo via CANTER Colorado

Rocky Mtn Freedom (Vermont – Freedom Basket, by Basket Weave): 2010 15.3-hand Idaho bred gelding

Rocky Mtn Freedom had a lovely upbringing at his breeder’s place in Idaho, where he was started on the trails and introduced to all sorts of things like bikers, hikers, and wildlife. He started his racing career as a three-year-old and ran through July of last year, racking up a total of 31 starts before retiring sound and moving into CANTER Colorado’s aftercare program. This gelding has been restarted under saddle and is just starting over fences. He’s a touch toed-out in the front but still has lovely movement and is staying sound as he starts his eventing education with his current caretakers.

View Rocky Mtn Freedom on CANTER Colorado.

Photo via CANTER Chicago

Paddybdancing (Belong to Me – Westybdancing, by West Acre): 2010 16.2-hand Illinois bred gelding

It may not be reflected in his name, but this gelding is a Chicago boy through and through — all but one of his 59 career starts were run at Illinois’ Arlington and Hawthorne race tracks. This big-boned gelding was competitive and sound enough to go on to earn almost $140,000 at the track and now he’s looking for a new sport to succeed in. As a been-there-done-that racer, Paddy is a consummate professional and barn-favorite due to his good manner and sweet personality.

View Paddybdancing on CANTER Chicago.

Photo via CANTER Maryland

California Lady (Cal Nation – Lady Krista, by Wayne County (IRE)): 2014 15.3-hand Maryland bred filly

OK, so this nice little filly has never been to her namesake state, but her name is fitting for her laid-back Cali attitude. This chill girl is sweetheart who aims to please, but made it clear that racing was not her jam. She’s sound with no vices and ready to explore a new sport!

View California Lady on CANTER Maryland

Monday Video from Tredstep Ireland: Games to Engage Your Horse’s Curiosity with Elisa Wallace

Cold snaps and blizzard abound; odds are that you’ve been experiencing some nutty weather over the past couple weeks which is putting a damper on your winter training.

If you’re grounded from the saddle due to frozen footing or freezing air — fear not! Elisa Wallace is here to show us some unmounted games you can do with your horses that will encourage confidence and curiosity. Using pressure and release plus positive reinforcement, Elisa and her young OTTB “Sniper” show us how to make use of some interesting items to keep your horse’s brain engaged when the temperature drops.

Saturday Links from Tipperary

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bdv_gjbgWlL/

With the dawn of the New Year comes a new way to practice our fancy prancing – even for those of us stuck indoors in colder climates! Betterdressagescores.com is a brand new, innovative way for event and dressage riders in the U.S. and Canada to get professional feedback on their tests without breaking the bank or even leaving their home arena.

“Shows” are held at the end of each month – simply choose your test, ride and video it, and send it in with your entry. Your test will be scored and you’ll receive feedback from ‘r’ judges plus you’ll be in the running for ribbons and year-end prizes! Check it out!

National Holiday: National Rubber Ducky Day

U.S. Weekend Action:

Stable View Aiken Opener H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

Saturday Links:

US Equestrian Eventing High Performance Program Emphasizes Focuses on Immediate and Future Athlete Success

Camarero, San Luis Rey Responders to Receive Special Eclipse Award

Ride The Moment On Cross-Country: Day 4 Of The USEF Emerging Athlete Eventing 25 Program Training Session

PODCAST: Erin Sylvester: 2017 Rebecca Broussard International Developing Rider Grant Winner

Zara Tindall On Four Key Figures That Helped Her Reach the Top of the Sport

Kicking Off the 2018 Season With Great Britain’s Emily King

10 Retired Racehorse Resources on TheHorse.com

Saturday Video: Speaking of Zara Tindell…

The Queen Takes Her Grandchildren Riding – 1992

Posted by NRM Horseboxes on Saturday, March 25, 2017

Weekly OTTB Wishlist from Cosequin: New Vocations Pony Club Challenge Edition

Photo via New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program.

Pony Club Members, Horsemasters and Riding Centers looking for a new mount have a neat opportunity to retrain a retired racehorse and take part in the New Vocations Pony Club Challenge which will be held in conjunction with Pony Club Championships East at the Tryon International Equestrian Center on July 25-29. Competitors will choose to show their New Vocation adoptee in one of six disciplines; those competing in the eventing challenge will ride a starter level combined test.

New Vocations will provide eligible USPC members with a challenge-eligible thoroughbred for free until January 31st and members have until July 2nd to register for the competition.  Not only is the adoption fee waived, but each horse also comes with a $1,800 stipend generously provided by the WaterShed Animal Fund to use towards horse’s care, training, or other expenses.

Know of a Pony Clubber who might be interested? Here are three approved New Vocations horses ready to start the challenge:

Photo via New Vocations Racehorse Adoption.

Divine Shift (Harlan’s Holiday – Bees, by Rahy): 2013 15.3-hand Kentucky bred gelding

Don’t let that adorable face fool you, this super cute gelding is hiding some serious athleticism under that winter coat! In just four races, he managed to earn over $60,000. His racing career was cut short by a bowed tendon which has since healed very well and is cleared for jumping. “Shifty” has only had a few rides off the track since his retirement, but he’s reported to be a very willing and amicable guy who just wants to please his rider.

View Divine Shift on New Vocations Racehorse Adoption.

Photo via New Vocations Racehorse Adoption.

Lady Sophia (Eskendereya – Vadahilla (FR), by Danehill): 2014 15.3-hand Kentucky bred mare

This regal filly is a sweet girl whose breeders liked her so much they tracked her down and brought her back to Kentucky from California when it was time for her to retire. Sophia retired sound and could be retrained in any discipline, but she’ll need an advanced and confident Pony Clubber to bring her along because she can be barn sour at times. She’s also had some downtime since returning to Kentucky and has been ridden minimally since then, so she’s RRP eligible as well!

View Lady Sophia on New Vocations Racehorse Adoption.

Photo via New Vocations Racehorse Adoption.

Sneaky Fudge Face (Congaree – Sneaky Valentine, by Snuck In): 2013 16.0-hand New York bred mare

This is one of those horses whose Jockey Club registered name you may not want to use for their USEA registered name unless you really want to turn heads! This girl wasn’t very competitive at the track, but she has a nice sport horse pedigree with nice conformation to match. “Sneaky” is a easy-going and well-behaved girl who likes to get along with everyone. She’s as sound as they come though she does “roar,” but that doesn’t slow her down one bit.

Hard Work Pays Off for Eventing 25 Emerging Athlete Chris Talley

The Emerging Athlete Eventing 25 winter training session is underway in Ocala, Florida, January 8-11. We are excited to introduce you to some of the riders making their debut on the E25 list, which can be viewed here. Today: Chris Talley! 

Chris Talley and Sandro’s Star. Photo by ED/Hoofclix.com.

Chris Talley is much more than one of the most fashionable personas on the jog strip; he’s a self-driven, industrious, talented young professional with a bright future ahead. After a successful 2017 season which saw a move up to the Advanced and three-star level, Chris earned a spot on the 2018 Emerging Athletes Eventing 25 list.

At 23 years old, Chris has already carved his own path to the top levels of the sport and immersed himself in multiple facets of the equine industry. His journey to becoming a young professional started years ago, as an even younger professional who first formed his own business at the age of 14.

Growing up in Pennsylvania, Chris initially rode on the local hunter circuit before getting into eventing around the age of 12. “I think I wanted more of the thrill,” says Chris. “I started going to the open cross country schooling days at Fair Hill with my pony and got hooked on the adrenaline of it.”

Chris comes from a completely non-horsey family and can’t recall what initially got him hooked on horses. His parents tried to get him out of it because of the expense, encouraging his involvement in any other sport, but none of them stuck. Nothing bites like the horse-bug and eventually they gave in.

“I have to thank my parents for believing in me at a young age and letting me chase the dream,” says Chris. “They’re much more on the bandwagon now, but from a very young age they instilled in me that if I wanted do the horse thing I would have to pay for it myself.”

And pay for it himself he did.

At the age of 13, Chris got a job at the local Iron Spring Farm, a well-known and respected breeding facility, where he worked full-time on the weekends, holidays and during summer break. Soon after, Chris also forayed into business on his own by buying local ponies, working with them, and reselling them, and maintained this business simultaneously with his high school studies and work at Iron Spring Farm.  

Chris was able to set money aside from his sales business which he would later use to offset his cost of living while taking a working student position with Ryan Wood in 2011. After a two and a half year stint with Ryan and after he also finished up high school online, Chris was certain that he wanted to continue as a professional equestrian and decided to hold off on college.

Chris Talley and Unmarked Bills at the Bromont CCI3* jog up. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

After his working student position, Chris restarted his training and sales business — this time down in Virginia where he would rent a barn to work out of. He galloped racehorses to help finance his venture and in doing so made connections which would help him grow his business of restarting and reselling horses off the track.

Selling horses is an aspect of the business that Chris has always been drawn to. “I love matching the right horses with the right people,” he says. “And I like seeing what each horse has to offer — whether it’s a talent for hunters or jumpers or eventing. It’s fun to figure that out.”

The relocation to Virginia also set in motion the series of event that would lead him to meet Hannah Salazaar, a performance horse breeder and dressage trainer, who, with her husband Antonio Salazaar, runs Zaragoza Acres in Jeffersonton, Virginia. Working together, the Salazaars and Chris are successfully running a multifaceted equestrian facility.

Chris says that going into business with Hannah has been one of the best things for his career. “She’s there for me as a best friend, mentor, and role model,” he says.

And it doesn’t hurt to have dressage professional on your team either: “Dressage has always been my weakest phase, so it’s amazing to have a trainer to work with and always have a good set of eyes on the ground.”

Chris Talley and Unmarked Bills at Carolina International CIC3*. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Chris got his first taste of the FEI levels from his 14.2-hand pony Tucan Tango (aka “Comanche”) as they tackled the CCI1* level in 2013, but it was the OTTB Unmarked Bills that truly ignited Chris’ competitive career.

Bills himself has a remarkable story (which EN recounted last summer), having gone from the track to the three-star level within two years under Chris’ guidance. The pair tackled their first Advanced together at Pine Top last February and finished the season with five three-star completions under their belt.

Not to be outshone by his stablemate, Chris’ other top mount Sandro’s Star (Sagnol – Nostalgia’s Star xx – Envoy xx), an Oldenburg stallion owned by Hannah, stepped up to the Intermediate and two-star level this year and with top 10 placings in the majority of his events, was named USEA 2017 Stallion of The Year. With Hannah in the irons, he also claimed numerous accolades at Dressage at Devon including Champion Stallion and Highscore Born in the USA. Chris will be riding “Sandro” at the E25 winter training session this week in order to help further his partnership with the horse.

“I have always wanted to work with Leslie and see the High Performance side of everything and get my name out there,” said Chris. “I really think Sandro is such a promising horse for the future, so it’s in everybody’s best interest to work under Leslie since he’s a relatively new ride for me.”

Sandro is an American-bred and licensed stallion who was then produced to the one-star level in Europe. He holds the distinction of being the first North American bred horse to compete in Germany’s young horse championship, Bundeschampionate.

“I’m used to Billy and the caliber of horse is a bit different with Sandro,” said Chris. “Sandro is such an exceptional horse that I’m looking to get additional tools to help us enhance our performance in all three phases.”

Chris Talley and Sandro’s Star at the Fair Hill International CCI2* jog up. Photo by Jenni Autry.

After the E25 winter training session, Chris will start looking ahead to the 2018 competition season. He plans to move Sandro up to Advanced at Pine Top next month and then will spend the rest of the year working towards Fair Hill International in the fall. With both horses being relatively young, Chris is looking to have them gain further experience at the Advanced and three-star level before making an potential attempts at contesting a four-star.

“I’ve always wanted to ride at a four-star, it’s been my longest goal. Anything after that is icing on the cake,” said Chris.

“I’d like to spend this year really solidifying Bills at the three-star level,” he explained. “Cross country is Bills’ easiest phase, but as a thoroughbred he can get a little tense in dressage and show jumping. I want to make sure he’s very confident in those rings.”

Chris is also excited to begin competing another of Hannah’s horses, eight-year-old Hanoverian stallion Faramund (Fidertanz – Donnerschlag) who was originally purchased as a dressage horse, but has shown a real aptitude for eventing (“He’s a super jumper for being bred as a dressage horse and he’s really brave”) and Chris and Hannah hope to bring him up to at least the Intermediate level so that he can be licensed and approved to the American Hanoverian Society stud book.

With the breeding business booming at Zaragoza Acres, Chris will have his hands full over the next couple years bringing up babies in addition to competing at the upper-levels.

“I don’t see myself doing anything else, so hopefully it works out!”

Go Chris. Go Eventing.

Monday Video from Tredstep Ireland: Thrills and Spills of the 2017 Event Rider Masters

From May to September last year, the Event Rider Masters brought us the excitement and adrenaline of eventing from across the pond right to our computer screens. Now in its second year running, the series of seven CIC3* events across Europe puts an exciting twist on traditional eventing competition as riders gather points throughout each leg of the series. Gemma Tattersall was crowned the 2017 Event Rider Masters Champion before the culmination of the series held at Blenheim Palace.

Before we look ahead to the 2018 series, let’s take a look back at some of the thrills and spills over the course of 2017; because of course only eventers are crazy enough to make a highlight reel using ‘fail’ moments!

Saturday Links from Tipperary

We got some ❄️⛄️

A post shared by Caroline Teich (@teicheventing) on

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…ok now please make it stop thankyouverymuch. The 18″ outside my door is quite enough. And the worst part for me? I have completely thrown out my back by shoveling and can’t do anything. I’m too young for this, I swear… Right now I’m feeling very thankful for good friends who can take care of my horse for me this weekend!

National Holiday: National Cuddle Up Day

Saturday Links:

Meet Your Clinicians for the 2018 Educational Symposium in Ocala

Blinging In The New Year

‘Her heart made her’: rider pays tribute to four-star mare

What You Need To Know: The 2018 George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session

Zara Tindall expecting second child

Keep Horse Barns Safe From Fire as Cold Bears Down

Tune Your Riding Position to Put Your Horse into “Drive”

Saturday Video: Working students know how to have fun on a snow day!

https://www.facebook.com/150971375061334/videos/910928879065576/